Radio issues

Discussion in 'Boat Electronics' started by Sagedaddy, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. SD2600

    SD2600 Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Dustin
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    26' sea swirl
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    Might just be a faulty radio. I installed a brand new icom and it didn’t work.. returned it and put in a standard horizon gx1700 and it fired up no issues at all...
     
  2. Sagedaddy

    Sagedaddy Member

    Location:
    Ventura
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    Sagedaddy
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    I’m going to redo the connection tomorrow. I also picked up a handheld for a backup so I’ll do a test after. When I push the ptt on the mic it shows a “tx” symbol so I know it’s trying to transmit. Such a simple install. Never thought I’d be having so many issues. I installed the radar, head unit, baittank, etc on my boat. Hard to believe the radio is giving me more problems than any of them..........
     
  3. MYNomad

    MYNomad Heading South

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    Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
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    Rick
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    Yes
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    How would you do that? And don't you need a very fast scope? Mine is good for 100 Mhz (which is pretty fast by recreational standards, I believe) but that wouldn't be enough, would it?
     
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  4. InDeepShip

    InDeepShip Ah ship

    Location:
    Ventura/Vallejo
    Name:
    Adam
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    In my Dream's
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    Yea no redact my comment it would be easier to use a SWR meter.
     
  5. ShadowX

    ShadowX I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
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    Alex
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    The marine frequencies are around 175 MHz so you need a scope that can read higher frequencies. There are a lot of "affordable" digital oscilloscopes that go up to 200 MHz such as Hantek, but it cost at least a few hundred dollars ($400-$500). You can get it a little cheaper without the screen and use your laptop. However, an oscilloscope is not the preferred instrument for measuring output power or SWR. It can be used if you have a directional coupler and the correct attenuators and dummy loads. Its too complex a setup for a simple SWR reading.

    The MFJ-874 meter is a decent SWR/ Wattmeter. I personally prefer the Bird 43 wattmeter for more accurate readings, but its not a typical tool that most people want to afford if you are not a radio electronics aficionado since it cost well over $400 to $500 if you include the different slugs.

    I have a digital storage oscilloscope that can go up to 200 MHz but I wouldn't use it for this application. It would be nice to eventually own a good spectrum analyzer, but I don't want to spend that type of money.

    Its overkill in my opinion. Its like getting a sonar with sidescan and chirp 1000W transducers when all you wanted to do was measure how depth of the water under the boat while you are parked on the dock. A $3000 sonar setup will work, but a string, rock and a tape measure would just work fine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
    clevel likes this.
  6. SD2600

    SD2600 Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Dustin
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    So might be best to return the unit.. for about $200 u can get the gx1700.. has dsc and internal gps.. solid radio imo.. or drop some coin and become a radio geek like others have mentioned above
     
  7. ShadowX

    ShadowX I've posted enough I should edit this section

    Location:
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    It doesn't sound like the problem is in the radio if you read his second message. The first radio he replaced had issues with transmitting also. The reason why it probably broke up is the high power is reflected back into the output circuit and the radio cuts off when the reflected power is high. Its a protection circuit to prevent the reflected power from frying the output amps.

    There is a good chance the problem is at the antenna or connector interface. A soldered PL-259 connector can be bought from Amazon, Ebay, Frys or Radio Shack (edited: Radio Shacks are all closed permanently) for only a few bucks. The best connector are silver plated, however, they will all work. Solder that connector down and the problem should go away. The crimp on connectors are a joke. I bet water got in and the wires and the braids are corroded too. Its a simple $5 fix even if you don't have a SWR meter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
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  8. sickcat

    sickcat Silverback

    Location:
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    Kerry
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    Not sure if we're talking the exact same fitting as I don't recall the connector puncturing the cable but I use the Shakespeare mechanical connectors all the time with no issues.

    Not saying the connector is not the issue only that there are no soldier connectors that work fine.
     
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  9. ShadowX

    ShadowX I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Mechanical connectors are never as good as soldered connections for RF connectors. The PL-259 connectors are very easy to install. You just slip the connector body and then the adapter/reducer over the coax, cut the coax and strip down the braid. Just lay the braid over the slip on section and tighten it against the body of the connector. After that, you just solder the tip. You need at least a 40W soldering iron since it takes some heat to heat up the connector tip to have solder flow. You may need a larger soldering iron if you plan to solder the braid to the connector body. It helps ensure a better electrical connection as compared to relying on the wires to be held by the threaded adapter. There are lots of videos on Youtube on the installation process as shown below. The guy left out the part on soldering the shield to the connector. Its a simple process of heating the body and filling the shield holes with solder until its covered.

    Its an easy 5 minute job that beats the "solderless" Shakespeare connectors shown below. The solderless connectors rely on a sharp tip puncturing the enter pin of the coax and its not reliable as a soldered connection especially in a marine environment where the contacts can corrode. You'll never see a ham radio or high powered CB radio antenna use this type of termination unless its an emergency and there are no soldered connectors left in the world.



    [​IMG]

    Example on the install process:

     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  10. Sagedaddy

    Sagedaddy Member

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    Thanks fellas. Lots of info that’s, frankly, way over my head. I’m going to give the soldered connection a try tomorrow. I’ll keep you guys informed as I go.
     
  11. clevel

    clevel Captain in Learning

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    Cabo Jack
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    Cobia 261
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    Channel 27 is the SeaTow automated radio check station and may not be available to all areas. Remember Vhf radio is line of sight reception so if there is any hill or obstruction in between, you won't get any reception.

    Do you know if there is a SeaTow radio tower up in your area?
     
  12. Sagedaddy

    Sagedaddy Member

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    I’d probably have to pull the boat down to the harbor. There is a seatow boat in the harbor but I don’t know about a tower
     
  13. clevel

    clevel Captain in Learning

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    Cabo Jack
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    You could also test your fixed mount radio with your handheld radio.Put both radios on the same channel for a radio check.
     
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  14. Sagedaddy

    Sagedaddy Member

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    That was kinda the plan with the hand held. Plus, I figured it couldn’t hurt to have it as a back up
     
  15. sickcat

    sickcat Silverback

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    Kerry
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    I understand the soldier VS mechanical theory. I have soldiered plenty of them in the past. I also understand that even if you soldier both connectors onto the wire your still left with a mechanical connection when you put those connectors together and that seems to work just fine.

    While its true that using a handheld will tell you if your transmitting at all being so close it is not a good indication of your ability to transmit at the distances you need in the real world.
     
  16. apogee

    apogee My name is Apogee and I am a Squidaholic

    Location:
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    Apogee..
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    I don't get any joy with Ch 27 on either of my radio's but they work just fine when I speak to anybody...Just sayin'......Ap
     
  17. Sagedaddy

    Sagedaddy Member

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    So I redid my connection with a standard soldered 259 connector and it seemed to work. I checked it with my kid standing down the street with my handheld so it’s not a great test but it’ll have to work for now. Sounds like there’s some pretty knowledgeable fellas in the audience so my next question is: what are your thoughts on the Shakespeare mariner 8300? It’s whats on my boat.
     
  18. C.H.U.D.

    C.H.U.D. Smells like fish

    Name:
    c.d chudomelka
    Boat:
    Bluewater 23T CC Twin suzukis 175
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    I have the same radio and it worked great for a while
    then all I would get is channel 16 military and emergency
    noise. I finally tracked it down to a expired MMSI #
    Got a new # from Boat US and problem solved.
     
  19. Sagedaddy

    Sagedaddy Member

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    Sagedaddy
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    No shit? Didn’t know mmsi numbers have an expiration date.
     
  20. C.H.U.D.

    C.H.U.D. Smells like fish

    Name:
    c.d chudomelka
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    Yeah, that radio was only 30 days old and worked great
    then out of nowhere stopped transmitting & receiving
    except emergency stuff. Probably my fault of not knowing
    or inputing my MMSI #.
     

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